Touch faucets are incredibly easy to use. For starters, just as the name suggests, all you need to do to start or stop the flow of water is to touch the handle or the spout. Now, that’s what we like to call taking convenience to a whole new level. Of course, the biggest question is – exactly how do touch tech faucets such as the Delta Leland Single-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet work? Here’s a breakdown.
Even before we begin to understand how a touch faucet can start to work in 300 milliseconds, it is essential that we first dissect through its parts. That way, we can have a better grasp of the concept behind this technology.
A touch faucet comes with an integrated sensor, typically placed in the handle or lip of the spout. The sense detects the movement or presence of your hand when it comes close to the faucet. Of course, the faucet stops to work when you remove your hand.
Touch faucets have a solenoid valve that works together with the sensor. More specifically, the sensor is an electromagnet that can pull or push based on the electric polarity. It is rubber like and controls the flow of water in a diaphragm-like action. The valve only opens up when it receives signals from the sensor or in this case when your hand is on the spout or handle. It closes when you hand is no longer on or near the faucet.
Touch faucets run on battery power. In other words, it takes electrical energy to trigger the sensor into action. In essence, this means that you need to ensure that the integrated battery has enough power to keep your faucet working. Most models come with an LED indicator to notify you when it’s time to replace the battery. It is essential to note that some models use low voltage current from an AC transformer.
The spout acts as a “harbor” for the faucet’s working parts. As you’d expect, the spout has to be robust and hardwearing to ensure that the sensor, valve, and batteries stay in place for long, offering a reliable performance every time. Most touch faucets use zinc, copper or brass materials. And then there is the nickel or chrome plating to enhance durability and appearance.
Understanding Capacitive Sensing Technology
Now that we have an idea of how a touch faucet looks like from the inside, it is time to look at the entire setup and how it really works. For starters, touch faucets use what is known as capacitive technology. In plain English, this is a mechanism that uses electricity to determine the difference between conductive, air and dielectric.
Note – most touch faucet models use 1.5 volts of DC while a few require up to 9 volts.
How Does the Technology Work?
Capacitive sensing technology uses the same concept as a smartphone touchscreen. As stated above already, the faucet has a built-in sensor, connected to the handle and spout.
Remember, capacitance is an electrical term, whose SI unit is Farad, named after Michael Faraday. Your body, for instance, generates a capacitance of anywhere between 100 and 200 picofarads.
Moving on, the sensor’s role is to measure the capacitance. Theoretically, the capacitance increases every time you touch your faucet’s handle, an action that triggers the flow of water. It decreases when you touch your faucet for the second time to stop the flow of water.
The sensing technology works differently in some faucets. In some models, you don’t have to touch the faucet to stop the flow of water. Instead, the sensor automatically detects when you remove your hand off the faucet and reduces the water flow gradually.
Indeed, a touch faucet comes with two sensors, one at the handle and the other at the spout. The sensor links to a metal, brass or wire. Because these materials are highly conductive, you can virtually touch any part of your faucet to start or stop the water flow. In other words, you can simply touch the arc of the spout or the back of the handle to get the faucet to work.
Even then, it is essential to ensure that no metal comes into contact with the faucet if you want the sensor to work properly. Also, ensure that you install your faucet correctly. If you have no expertise, be sure to hire a professional plumber to do the job for you.
A touch faucet is a revolutionary product that will change the way you do things in your kitchen. In fact, if you’re looking for ways to modernize your cooking room, installing a touch faucet should rank high on your list. And, with the information provided here, you can certainly figure out how to make the most out of your model.